Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a healthcare-acquired infection arising from the invasion of the lower respiratory tract by opportunistic pathogens in critically ill ventilated patients. The current method of diagnosis requires the culture of an airway sample such as bronchoalveolar lavage, which is invasive to obtain and may take up to seven days to identify a causal pathogen, or indeed rule out infection. While awaiting results, patients are administered empirical antibiotics; risks of this approach include lack of effect on the causal pathogen, contribution to the development of antibiotic resistance and downstream effects such as increased length of intensive care stay, cost, morbidity and mortality. Specific biomarkers which could identify causal pathogens in a timely manner are needed as they would allow judicious use of the most appropriate antimicrobial therapy. Volatile organic compound (VOC) analysis in exhaled breath is proposed as an alternative due to its non-invasive nature and its potential to provide rapid diagnosis at the patient's bedside. VOCs in exhaled breath originate from exogenous, endogenous, as well as microbial sources. To identify potential markers, VAP-associated pathogens; Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus were cultured in both artificial sputum medium and nutrient broth, and their headspace was sampled and analysed for VOCs. Previously reported volatile markers were identified in this study, including indole and 1-undecene, alongside compounds that are novel to this investigation: cyclopentanone and 1-hexanol. We further investigated media components (substrates) to identify those that are essential for indole and cyclopentanone production, with potential implications for understanding microbial metabolism in the lung.